Archives: January 2019

writing

The Pros & Cons of a Buyer’s Letter: Standing Out in a Busy Market

Imagine, after weeks of searching, that you’ve finally found your dream home. It’s in the perfect location with the right features and exactly the amount of space you need. But after requesting more information, your agent informs you that there are already several offers made on the house. How do you stand out in a busy market and snag your dream home?

When buyers are looking to make a lasting impression on sellers, they often opt to submit a letter to the seller. In fact, a recent study found that buyers who submitted letters were 9% more likely to have their offer accepted.

A Buyer’s Letter can work both with you and against you, so it’s important to understand what they are and when you should use one.

What is a Buyer’s Letter?

A man typing on a laptopA Buyer’s Letter is pretty much what it sounds like — a letter written by the buyer for the seller in order to stand out in a busy market. The letter is your chance to make a case for why you should get the home over other buyers.

Many people opt to write about how they envision their lives in the home, how well they would take care of it, how much owning this specific home would mean to them, and similar sentiments.

You might also use this space to talk yourself up, bringing up steady finances, your down payment, and job security — things geared towards making the seller confident in choosing you.

Advantages of a Buyer’s Letter

A man and a woman shaking handsA Buyer’s Letter sets you apart from the crowd and makes you more than just an offer on a sheet of paper — it allows you to connect with the seller on a personal level. In a constantly growing and changing market, being able to stand out or connect puts you a big step ahead of other buyers.

Is the home close to a golf course? Does the seller have bikes in their garage? Are there signs of pets in the home? If you notice you have common interests, including them in the Buyer’s Letter can elevate your standing.

When you choose to forgo a Buyer’s Letter, you miss out on the chance to advocate for yourself, which can go a long way in the seller’s final decision.

Disadvantages of a Buyer’s Letter

A woman writing in a notebook. While there are plenty of pros to using a Buyer’s Letter, there are also pitfalls to consider. Making your case is great, but it does give the seller leverage. If you really love the house as much as you say, then what’s to stop the seller from raising the asking price?

Maybe the seller accepts your offer, and you move to the home inspection stage. If issues turn up, then the seller might refuse to make costly repairs, assuming that you’ll buy the house no matter what.

Another unexpected con of a buyer’s letter? It can be tricky for sellers to navigate around discrimination issues. If a seller picks a buyer of a certain race, religion, gender, or family status instead of another, they could face backlash. Be aware of this when writing your letter so as to not put the seller in an uncomfortable position.

Need Help Standing Out?

If you’re kicking off the home-buying process and need help standing out, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll help you secure your dream home, and answer any and all of your questions in the process.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

6301 Stevenson

6301 Stevenson Ave CONDO in Alexandria Virginia UNDER CONTRACT!!

6301 Stevenson

What an opportunity! This pristine, corner unit in sought-after Olympus is ready for you to move in and start enjoying the convenience of the spectacular location! Property boasts three bedrooms, a modern kitchen and wonderful evening views from the abundant windows and your private balconies! Not to mention, two private parking spaces near the elevator! Condo fee includes the parking fee, electric, water and sewer! Hurry, this one will not last long!

 

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

pulse

The State of Real Estate at the Lake 2018

By Pat Licata, External Affairs Committee

numberofhomessold2018The inventory shortage experienced by most regions of the country was evident in Lake of the Woods in 2018, as listings were down 13.9% over those in 2017. 234 sales were reported in our MLS in 2018, down from 294 in 2017 (a 19.6% decrease).  New construction accounted for 11 of the 234 sales. The median sold price increased 4.56% year over year from $239,000 to $249,900.

Of the 234 total sales in 2018, only 15, or 6.4%, were either short sales or foreclosures.

At the height of the distressed real estate market in 2010, a whopping 43% of all sales were either short sales or foreclosures.

So let’s look at our steady growth over the past five years:

2018mediansalesprice

In 2014, the median sold price was $219,450, with 193 homes selling. Only 11.9% were distressed. Average days on market was 92.

In 2015, the total sales climbed to 247, with 15% being distressed. The total sales represented almost a 30% gain over 2014, and the median sales price dropped to $210,000.

In 2016, the market was quite flat compared to 2015 in regards to total sales, which held at 243 with a decrease in distressed sales to 11.1%. However, 2016 saw the median price jump to $225000, a healthy 7.1% increase.

In 2017, there were 294 total sales, a whopping 21.1% increase over 2016 with only 5.8% being distressed. The median sales price climbed to $239,000.

Average days on the market (DOM), which is the number of days it takes from the time a property is listed until it goes under contract, has steadily declined from 92 days in 2014 to 76 in 2018.

It’s also telling to note that a significant number of lots have sold in the past five years. From January 1, 2014-December 31, 2018, 177 lots exchanged, with 55 occurring in 2018.

newconstructionstarts2018

New Construction has been climbing, as well. 2014 realized 18 new construction starts; in 2015, there were 41; in 2016, there were 28; in 2017, there were 30; and in 2018, there were 34.

In 2019, according to Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors, mortgage rates are expected to increase at a much slower pace than that in 2018. So far in 2019, they have actually decreased from the 4th quarter of 2018.

The prognosis for 2019 is excellent!  In many areas of the country, inventory is rising. In LOW, there are 62 homes active on the market as of 1/26/2019. Last year in January, there were 55. More stable rates and more inventory should propel us to experience healthy sales and appreciation.

**All statistics have been obtained from BrightMLS, our local MLS, except for new construction starts, which were obtained from LOWA.

 

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

less is more

Civic Club Speakers to Present “Living Easier with Less”

By Pat Licata

On Wednesday, February 20, at 7:00pm in the Clubhouse Great Hall, two guest speakers will address the art of organizing and decluttering our homes and methods for removal of the items in order to accomplish an easier way of life. Even if one’s home is the perfect fit, there still may be items that can be “released” for simpler living. For many people, the stress comes from not knowing how to take the first step of thinking through what should stay or go, and for others it may be not knowing how to sell or where to donate items no longer needed or wanted.

Linda Clevenger

Linda Clevenger

Linda Clevenger, Professional Organizer and Owner of Organization Direct, will be our first speaker. Linda has been helping homeowners downsize, right-size, purge, and eliminate items from their homes for over 11 years. She helps clients walk through the process of making decisions regarding the need to keep items and how it will impact life both now and in the future. As the spouse of a disabled Veteran, she is passionate about helping other Veterans and those who struggle with the day to day task of living a clutter-free life.

Cathy France

Cathy France

Cathy France, owner of CopperStone Auctions and Estates will provide options for the sale of items no longer wanted or needed.  CopperStone offerings include estate sales from the home, consignment and auction services, and complete buyout of a home’s contents. And of course, the option always exists to donate items to organizations such as the LOW Lions.

There will be time allotted for questions, and we hope to see you there!

Thanks, Pat

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

taxes

Free AARP Tax Preparation Site Moved to Community Center

Due to renovations being made in the Lake of the Woods Clubhouse, the free AARP tax preparation site has been moved to the COMMUNITY CENTER.

The AARP Tax Aide program is to provide free tax preparation for low-to-moderate income families and individuals whose returns are within the scope of AARP volunteer training.

AARP Membership is not required to use this free service that is being offered.

The tax preparations will begin being held on Fridays and Saturdays from February 1st through April 13th. Appointments are required. Please call 540-268-8837 to schedule yours today!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

Win TWO tickets to SOLD OUT: Murder Mystery Dinner Party!!!

Orange County Animal Shelter

We LOVE supporting the local animal shelter and we hope you will too!

You can support the Local Orange County Humane Society by ADOPTING a pet or DONATING an item. You will be entered to win 2 tickets to the MURDER MYSTERY DINNER PARTY at the INN at WILLOW GROVE. We have the LAST TWO tickets available! The shelter currently needs: BLEACH, TOYS, CAT LITTER, LAUNDRY SOAP, CANNED CAT & DOG FOOD, BLANKETS or a MONETARY donation is accepted as well. If you donate or adopt a pet in February PLEASE LET THE SHELTER KNOW YOU WANT TO BE ENTERED INTO OUR CONTEST! Be sure to provide your name, phone number and email address!

Winner will be chosen Friday, MARCH 1st, 2019!

Thank you for supporting your local animal shelter!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

monthly stats

January 2019 Lake of the Woods Monthly Statistics

By Pat Licata-REALTOR

In Lake of the Woods for January, 2019 the statistics are as follows: A total of 16 homes were sold, all of them were standard sales. Two homes sold for under $175K, eight homes sold between $175-250K, five sold between $250-350K, and one sold that was over $350,000.  Additionally, two lots were sold at $24,000 and $35,000.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods, VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

It’s another beautiful day at the lake!

monthly market stats

January 2019 Lake of the Woods Market Statistics

Lake of the Woods Market Statistics

68 Active Homes for Sale

25 Homes under contract

16 Homes sold since January 1, 2019.

Thinking of buying or selling?

Allow Pat Licata to achieve your desired results!

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

solar farm

Solar Farm Developer Scheduled to Meet with Locust Grove Neighbors Tuesday

The company planning to develop a solar farm here in Locust Grove will be holding a second public meeting on the project tomorrow, Tuesday January 29th at 5:30pm at the Wilderness Branch Library.

A 400-acre 62-megawatt solar farm has been proposed for Locust Grove along Route 20 (less than a mile west of Locust Grove Primary and Elementary Schools). Citizens now have until January 30th to submit any comments or concerts. This is part of a mandatory 30-day public review period, allowing time for the public who may be affected by the construction, to voice their opinions. This 400-acres of 630 acres that Cypress Creek Renewable owns, would be this county’s first large-scale solar farm. Before Cypress Creek can begin construction on this project later this year and begin operations in 2020, the Virginia DEQ (VA Department of Environmental Quality) must review the company’s Permit by Rule application (400 pages). There are 15 total requirements that must be met including a $12,000 application fee paid by the developer.

You can review Cypress Creek’s Permit by Rule application online or at the Wilderness Public Library. Development coordinator, Haley Larabee proposes that this operation will produce enough clean and renewable energy to power about 10,000 single family homes. And what about the real estate market? Larabee says, “studies by our appraiser have shown that there’s no negative effect on the property value of surrounding uses.”

We are not alone here in Locust Grove, Cypress Creek Renewables has similar projects in Henrico and Halifax. Learn more about the solar matter here.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.

watercolour

All About the Kids – 6th Annual Fredericksburg Kids Expo!

The Kid Expo is coming to Fredericksburg Expo Center for the 6th year on Saturday, February 9th from 10AM – 5pm and Sunday, February 10th from 11AM – 4PM. Adults will be $8 at the door, Kids aged 4 – 12 will be $3 at the door and kids 3 & under are free.

This is a great opportunity for parents and children to come and explore new adventures and opportunities. Learn about new sports clubs and learning centers for children, as well as health and nutrition options, local day cares, schools, camps, and so much more.

This is a great opportunity to get involved with your child(ren) and get to know what they like to do and what activities are out there for them to try and keep them active!

There will be many children activities they can participate in including: inflatables, face painting, Fredericksburg’s largest indoor sandbox, fire safety, chance to meet police & fire heroes, a petting zoo and many other activities to try.

For more information or to purchase your tickets in advance please visit: Fredericksburg Kids Expo.

Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Lake of the Woods VA or Waterfront property in Virginia we are your professionals for Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Central Virginia, and Greater Virginia, we are your proven Real Estate professionals. Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by home owners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, Pat will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

To see available Lake of the Woods properties, please visit our site.